Drama Club, DEI join to read diversity books to children


Gazebo Photo by Caris Weinberg

Freshman Jaxen Garcia reviewing her assigned book to read

Drama Club students will be joining twith the DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) Alliance in February to read books to Preschool and Lower School students to celebrate different cultures and diversity.

Head Librarian Ms. Beth Davis said the book selection includes “new books that are either by people of color, or they are about people of color.”

Last summer, students from the class of 2012 donated a collection of books to the library. Stratford’s Olson Library has about 150 new books that deal with related topics, Ms. Davis said. The books include Coretta Scott King award winners and picture book winners.

The Olson Library purchased an autographed copy of “Respect,’’ a childrens’ lyric book made by the Otis Redding foundation. The song, “Respect” was made popular by Aretha Franklin, but it was written by Otis Redding.

To increase awareness, the library set up a display of the collections of books, so that students who will participate in the readings can select which books they want to read.

Last August, the Drama Club discussed ways it could do mores besides theatre games at meetings. “The reading project seemed to be one [activity] that everyone agreed could fit well into [their] daily schedules,’’ Drama Club advisor Ms. Sylvia Haynie said.

Ms. Davis also sent an email to the Lower School and Preschool of a virtual reading by Karla Redding Andrews to provide an insight on the importance and focus of the readings as well as awareness of the books. 

“We didn’t have a focus really on being kind to one another for Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, so I did all the activities and emailed the video,’’ Ms. Davis said.